Transthyretin Cardiac Amyloidosis in Black Americans

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Transthyretin-related cardiac amyloidosis is a progressive infiltrative cardiomyopathy that mimics hypertensive and hypertrophic heart disease and often goes undiagnosed. In the United States, the hereditary form disproportionately afflicts black Americans, who when compared with whites with wild-type transthyretin amyloidosis, a phenotypically similar condition, present with more advanced disease despite having a noninvasive method for early identification (genetic testing). Although reasons for this are unclear, this begs to consider the inadequate access to care, societal factors, or a biological basis. In an effort to improve awareness and explore unique characteristics, we review the pathophysiology, epidemiology, and therapeutic strategies for transthyretin amyloidosis and highlight diagnostic pitfalls and clinical pearls for identifying patients with amyloid heart disease.

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